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The United Airlines COVID-19 vaccine mandate has violated some employees’ religious beliefs, according to a federal appeals court.
The company’s mandate allows for religious exemption applications but even if those applications are granted, some employees to which they are granted are forced to stop working, receive no pay, and stop getting benefits paid by the company, a set of conditions described as unpaid leave.
The treatment of religious objections triggered a lawsuit, which asked a court to block the mandate for them, but a federal judge in November 2021 declined to do so, asserting plaintiffs didn’t prove they would suffer irreparably.
In the new ruling, dated Feb. 17, two judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found United’s treatment of religious objectors amounted to “coercion.”
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